Is Handwriting Doomed?

With digital devices’ development and pervasiveness, educators have long promoted ending handwriting instruction. Something I cannot fathom or condone. Handwriting is not an archaic communication tool to be scrapped for modern keyboarding. Handwriting’s motions creating letters, words and sentences stimulate the brain in a way typing does not. According to Psychology Today’s Dr. William Klemm, Ph.D., learning handwriting successfully develops controlled visual tracking and high-speed neural responses to the corrective visual feedback loop. (That’s a mouthful.) He predicts: In short, learning cursive should train the brain to function more effectively in visual scanning. Theoretically, reading efficiency could benefit. I predict that new research would show that learning cursive will improve reading speed and will train the brain to have better hand-eye coordination. While computers and TV can be educational, Klemm also reports in another article, when letters are not made by your own hand memory-creation lessens. (And I found more; check out this blog, or NPR’s comments.) As a scribe, a calligrapher and illuminator, I predict more people will seek us out to do what they didn’t learn, to write. I’ve already been asked to do this for simple Christmas gift tags, but that was for beauty’s sake. What about skill and ability? I’m concerned the troubles my grandkids may experience. Ben may have difficulty learning caused by digital devices and short-forms used in schools. Charlotte’s artistic creativity may be dampened. They are both so wonderful at what they do either would be tragic. Not writing […]

Read More →

"Playing With Period Pigments Class" Taught

Each time I teach a class it's different I'll take stock of my handouts and supplies. Then I cajole/invite a few Lonely Tower scribes to take a condensed practice class. this time, you will see and hold my raw mineral rock collection. Ground to powder and added to a binder, these rocks make the paint used in early manuscript illumination . I share photos I snapped from my 2010 class.

Read More →

10 Free On-line How To Make Paint Tutorial Links

I’m getting up to speed on making paint from pigments, again. Preparing to teach my paint making class in a few weeks. I found several on-line tutorials you may like. The first part of making paint is dispersing a powdered colorant in water.  The second part is mixing in a binder. The binder in each video is different.  Still, I learned tips from each video, even the videos using a binder different than I use. Written Sources “Making Your Own Water-based Paint“–Natural Pigments excellent tutorial on the grinding tools and paint making. I love the articles this company provides you free on-line. Pigments Into Paint–A free pdf provided by the Guild of Limners. They sell all paint making supplies, too. Have a look at their whole website. Playing With Period Pigments: A Make And Take Class–My class handout on Google Doc (minus its pictures). YouTube Videos Pigments and Paints Colorfest Exploratorium—Alex Warren, Sinopia Pigments founder, demonstrates grinding a pigment and then mixing it into egg yolk binder to make paint. He makes it look so very easy. And it is! Making Ochre Paints—Using soil and roadside rocks artist Helen Fitzgerald makes Ochre watercolor paint.  Making Watercolor Paint Out of Natural Pigment, Tutorial—A step by step tutorial by artist Ekaterina Smirnova. She shows how to make watercolor paint from pigments found in nature.  How To Make Oil Paint–A tutorial about making pigment into oil paint. How To Make Your Own Oil Paint— A Howcast tutorial about studio […]

Read More →

How-to Remove Scary From Writing SCA Documentation

In my previous article on arts and sciences documentation I responded to a common SCA non-writer’s lament. It presented several ways to show off creations without detailed writing. So what? What can you do if you want to write documentation? How do you learn to do it or improve at it? I won’t re-invent the wheel here. Instead, I give you resources to help you remove the scary from writing documentation. If you are very new to this try the first link. Others have sections on basic documentation that help as well. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The SCA Arts and Sciences Easy Documentation-Writing Form on Ez-Doc–This Ez-Doc is form you edit with specific categories predetermined. You fill in sections relating to names (SCA and modern), project title, your inspiration (historical basis), tools and materials, procedure/methods, and sources. Entries Showing Documentation A & S Documentation Made Simple–A 2 page pdf about documentation steps. It’s presented in a form similar to many documentation entries I’ve judged. Examples included. Kingdom of Atlantia Arts and Sciences Handbook includes three brief sections on documentation. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As I come from the Kingdom of Calontir, I include this link to their Arts and Sciences Criteria. Have a look at what judges expect to learn from you about your creation. Each category is broken into sections: novice, intermediate, and advanced. There is so much to be learned from writing about your project. It crystallizes your knowledge about your medieval creation. These links […]

Read More →

What I Learned Participating In World Hijab Day For The First Time

I am not a Muslim woman, but today, February 1st , for the first time, I wore a hijab. I participated in World Hijab Day, to support the world’s women that have decided to wear one. What would I learn wearing a headscarf in public? Would people’s reactions to me be different? The hijab head covering has always seemed beautifully feminine and dignified to me. To […]

Read More →

Playing With Powdered Period Pigments

I’m teaching again!! It’s been years, unfortunately.  In early April you can take my “Playing With Period Pigments” class at the Bellewode Heraldic Scribal and Dance Symposium in Kirksville, MO. It is a safety and hands-on class, teaching paint production from natural earth powdered pigments. You’ll take home the safety supplies and paints you make. Would you care to see photos I snapped in 2010 of the same class? I just have two. Calontir Scribes Playing with Powdered Pigments Making Paint From Powder My Messy Studio                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 What do I […]

Read More →